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The All-New TT: Television Time Mini Reviews

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
That solved that on D+ by moving it to the middle of the season!

So everything worked out okay for everyone!
 
Like that in the DVDs, too. It’s the broadcast order. Last episodes were first aired in syndication as opposed to ABC. Anyway, yeah, from a certain perspective, all the characters are fine in sitcom limbo. I wish them the best.
 

Exposition Owl

could use a space fortress
(he/him/his)
Watched the first season of Lupin on Netflix. It's an amazing series of mini-heist movies that also manage to explore racism in France and the fact that being a brilliant thief isn't necessarily going to be great for the other people in your life. Highly recommended.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Just finished the second season of His Dark Materials and man, this thing really has an Empire Strikes Back ending of a middle chapter, huh? (I haven't read the books.)

Anyway, as a TV show, I thought the second season was much improved in terms of pacing and structure, though having heard lots of good things about the books I'm not super jazzed about the plot developments - probably just because I've played too many JRPGs for the revelation that it turns out we've just been doing a big fetch quest for a weapon to kill god to feel fresh or interesting. I suppose it was probably a bit more daring for the YA genre in its original context. Also geez, that ending just killed off like literally half the adult cast. when I felt like we were just getting to know some of them.
 
Resident Alien is so good actually. Five episode deep, and I'm really really liking it. Best way I can describe it is, it's like Fargo if the main character was an alien. And also, just an amazing Alan Tudyk showcase. It's billed as a comedy (and it's pretty funny, IMO) but it's got a lot of heart and serious drama in it too. Can't wait to see where it goes. I hope more people tune in and watch, because I want this to be successful.

 

Exposition Owl

could use a space fortress
(he/him/his)
And not a tornado or a hurricane, mind you, but a windstorm, which is apparently something else entirely.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Just getting around to catching up with the last season of The Magicians, and goddamn, this show is still real good. All the feelings.
 
I didn't want to check in case I misheard/quoted. But I basically didn't. (it's just "...your head'll come apart like a pizza in a windstorm") It's from the beginning of S01E21, "Abalon." Roy Scheider's Captain Nathan Bridger is warning Don Franklin's Commander Jonathan Ford not to rise up from the deep too fast in his sea robot. Ford is experiencing nitrogen narcosis but also just saw Charlton Heston's mermaid daughter swimming around down there and is like,"gotta get outta here now."

Oh, I should note before I forget that I think Franklin fights her mermaid brothers at some point and does a really weird like, flip body slam. Looks cool but does NOT seem like a good way to fight. But he won. Had I the power to GIF it, I would.
 
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R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
New Amsterdam, the hospital show about trying to heal people when America's healthcare system is designed to make money and not to heal anyone, has been back for two weeks, and COVID 19 is unsurprisingly the big storyline. It's one of my favorite shows, even if it can be very schmaltzy. At least it acknowledges this hell virus exists and one of the characters nearly died twice from the infection and subsequent damage to their heart. All that while dealing with another ongoing storyline, The Opioid Epidemic! Fun times for everybody!
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Finished off The Magicians. What a good show. Season 5 was a good epilogue emotionally, even though it also got to a point of stakes-raising where everything was just a non-stop sequence of absurd apocalypses - but they lean into it and it all kinda works. And it ends on an optimistic note that wraps up a lot but still lets the stories continue. So while it'd be awesome if Netflix or someone decided to pick up a season six, it's also not super frustrating for it to be over.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Oh yeah,a TT banner reminded me, I forgot I was gonna mention I just about fell on the floor when, as a random background detail, the grieving Hades was vegging out playing Untitled Goose Game πŸ¦†. πŸ˜‚
 
I watched HBO's Watchman series. I liked it.

I thought it started off stronger than it ended. Once Doctor Manhattan gets legitimately involved I found myself less interested in the show. I preferred Doctor Manhattan as a background rather than a central character. Doctor Manhattan is the Watchman equivalent of Superman, and like Superman its difficult to write interesting stories with him.
 
seaQuest DSV in season 2 remains a great show that rewards not looking at your phone but it’s also fine to look at your phone as much as you want. Rosalind Allen is playing the psychic from Team America.... a decade before the film was even produced! Eerie...

β€œAs you know, telepathic powers barely work on the surface...” yes, yes, of course I know that. We all know that!
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
So I finally went and looked up who it was I had a crush on in seaQuest as a kid, it was LtCmd Katherine Hitchcock, played by Stacy Haiduk, who evidently went on to be a blonde woman on Days of our Lives.

But then something weird happened. I clicked on another character to looked very familiar, and yup, that is indeed Ted Raimi playing Lt. j.g. Tim O'Neill. That's not the weird part. I went to Google's character page for Tim O'Neill and it says the character was *also* played by Joe Mantegna in a short film called "The Yule Tide Good Samaritan". Like.... what? Is this actually the same character? Is it an intentional homage? I can't find anything about the film besides perfunctory entries on IMDB and the like, so I have no idea what's up here.
 
I have to imagine they just have the same name and algorithm merged both characters. But who knows?

BTW Ted Raimi’s character said something kind of bi in the episode I’m watching right now. Exciting. I’m taking notes, looking at everything. (When I’m not looking at something else entirely on my phone) Not the gayest moment in seaQuest. (I gotta record the gayest moment - in S02E02 - before it disappears; it’s incredible and I’m not sure how intentional)

I was happy to see Stephanie Beacham who I knew from Dynasty in my teens even though I did see her in the pilot for this when I was a child. She’s a real bright spot in season one! It was pretty sad to see the cast say goodbye at the end of that, curious how emotional I’ll get at the end of this one. (Season two)
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
At my partner's prompting I've started filling a big hole in my nerd TV canon with Battlestar Galactica.

Watched the intro miniseries/3-hour-movie thing in one sitting (that was long!) and we're now several episodes into the first season proper. Good stuff for the most part, love Edward James &c. The most annoying/baffling thing is how it tacks on a sizzle real of spoilers for the upcoming episode after the intro sequence, which I have to manually fast-forward through since it doesn't count as part of the "skip intro" shortcut. Weird and dumb. The style of handheld-shaky-cam in deep space is also certainly a choice, but it works sometimes for action stuff.
 
That post-credits thing is so cool and well edited and I don’t see why its contents would be considered spoilers because they’re an essential part of every episode. You’re supposed to watch the episodes with bits of perhaps misleading foreknowledge! And the intro is cool as well, too! Well, none of my business. Fun show, enjoy...
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
That’s what I like about the Mandalorian; it saves the sizzle reeel for the end of the episode so you get to rewatch the episode again but much faster and with Ennio Maricone-y music
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Should clarify that the intro itself is just fine, I like intros in general, I just don't necessarily need to watch it every time if I'm doing more than one episode in a row so I appreciate the optional skip button. I still question the pre-show upcoming clips bit and think it's a weird choice, but no foul to anyone who enjoys it! Agree with Octo that Mando's end-of-ep concept art reel was fantastic.
 
I watched the first three episodes of Invincible on Amazon Prime. (I can't tell if it's supposed to only be 3 episodes or not. Probably not?) I have very little foreknowledge or exposure to Invincible, besides knowing it's an edgelord, off-brand, cape-comic from the 2000s. The show is at its most interesting when it's being earnest and thoughtful about critiquing/commenting on the superhero experience. It is however a complete trashfire when it is indulging in almost fetishized acts of extreme violence. I struggle to think of another cartoon I've seen that's more violent. Maybe some very specific prestige 80s/90s direct-to-video animes?


Show looks great. It's got that Bruce Timm/Studio Mir look with some well choreographed action, and a weird amount of recognizable voice talent. It's just uh, very edgy. So be warned. I read some spoilers to see where the story goes eventually and Big Oof.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Having read Invincible (save for maybe the last 20 issues) and not watched the show, I wouldn't characterize Invincible (the comic) as "edgy" or "edgelord". Tonally, it actually feels like a traditional blue sky, colourful superhero comic that just happens to get extremely violent (notably, I don't even think it does that until somewhere between issues 8-11. When it drops its big reveal). Like, it feels like classic meat and potatoes Spider-Man book in structure and tone and not, say, like a Mark Millar trying to poke you in the ribs with how audacious he's being or Frank Miller's glowering muddiness or Garth Ennis' "We agree this is is a stupid genre, right?". I don't think Kirkman had some big thing to say on the genre and more just wanted to do a traditional story his way. This isn't so much a defense* as a specific definition of what I always felt the series' character was: conventional, earnest superhero storytelling punctuated by crazy violent fights. Still, I will say "fetishized" is probably fair to all versions. Anyway, I could see someone seeing it as tonal whiplash (which I think the AV Club review of this series did) but I always felt it was of a piece. Again, this could be very different in the show.

* I'm not super sure how much I would still enjoy the series on re-reading. The Dragonball-inspired fights (and Dragonball-inspired lots of things) are good but I suspect I might be less cool with its treatment of its female characters. Even at the time, I felt the strength was in the cliffhangers, which I felt the same with The Walking Dead. Like, "how much of this is actual good story telling and how much is just written to be addictively read?"
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
I've been watching The Good Fight, because it's the only non-Star Trek thing that appeals to me on the Star Trek Channel (aka Paramount+). I watched The Good Wife as sort of background noise while I was cleaning and doing other things, which is a role that podcasts now fill in my life. But this show is actually worth actively paying attention to. It's the same show at the most basic level, but with lots of energy, lots of f-bombs, a much more diverse cast, a sharper sense of humor, and a really pissed-off sense of purpose. I love it.
 

John

(he/him)
I liked the first few seasons of The Good Fight, as a trashy popcorn show. It reminded me of F/X dramas from the 00's, like Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, etc. They know they're doing the same thing as broadcast shows, but because they're on a streaming service without FCC rules, they can swear and show some skin. It has the same basic problem of The Good Wife that all these people are insanely rich, and their problems aren't relatable to most of humanity, but it was a fun escape.

I tried to watch the most recent season, but with the pandemic and the election happening in real life, I just couldn't deal with a fantasy version of it. Maybe I'll try again someday.
 
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